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Arthritis charity hosting Diwali party as part of awareness campaign

An arthritis charity is holding a Diwali party in Slough to spread awareness of the condition amongst the town’s South Asian community and to promote a wider national campaign.

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) is hosting a dinner and dance in celebration of the Hindu festival of Diwali at Baylis House in Stoke Poges Lane on Saturday, November 10.

The event starting at 7.30pm will include a DJ playing Punjabi music, dhol drummers, henna artists and a fire dancer.

Tickets are £40 per person and includes a three course meal, complimentary arrival drinks and unlimited soft drinks.

NRAS, which is based in Gardner Road, Maidenhead, has been working on a Hindi language area of its website called Apni Jung, which aims to reach out to South Asian people.

The project was based on research which suggested there are particular challenges the community face when dealing with rheumatoid arthritis.

NRAS digital media manager Shivam Arora says that many South Asian people might not seek help or be able to explain their symptoms or understand advice given to them due to language barriers.

He says other issues could include social stigmas surrounding the discussion of illnesses and being less committed to sticking to a course of medicine.

“Sometimes they may go back to India and they talk to family and friends and are encouraged sometimes off their UK medication and encouraged to think about ayurvedic type things,” said Shivam.

As well as research papers and links to podcasts, the Apni Jung webpage includes videos of experts explaining rheumatoid arthritis and patients from Asian backgrounds talking about their experiences with the condition.

“It’s a basic right that people should be able to understand about their diseases and how to articulate their needs,” Shivam added.

Money raised from the Diwali party will go towards the Apni Jung project.

Visit www.nras.org.uk/diwali2018 to book tickets and https://www.nras.org.uk/about-apni-jung for information on rheumatoid arthritis in Hindi.

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